Friday, April 21, 2017

Clara White Mission homeless Veterans Villa opens in downtown JAX

The Clara White Mission had the Grand Opening of its “Beaver Street Veterans Villas”, on Wednesday, April 19, 2017.  The mission celebrated the completion of its new permanent housing initiative for homeless veterans that is located at 605 West Beaver Street, Jacksonville, Florida.  To the surprise of Ju’Coby Pittman, CEO/President of Clara White Mission, Damien Haitsuka of Wells Fargo Banks presented BSVV with a check of $200,000.  The generous donation will help with maintaining the facility for a little while.  Sponsors are still needed to consider sponsoring the furnishing of an apartment.  The property will be managed by Magnolia Properties Management.

The opening of BSVV represents the culmination of a public-private partnership begun in 2012, that has transformed a historic vacant downtown structure into a life-changing mix of housing and services for homeless veterans and low-income residents.  Major partners and contributors include: the City of Jacksonville (CDBG & DIA), HUD, Wells Fargo, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Fanny Landwirth Foundation, Jessie Ball duPont Fund, Delores Barr Weaver Fund, Wells Fargo Foundation, Acon Construction, Reynolds Smith and Hills, and the Home Depot Foundation, Synovous Bank, CORTS Furniture, Ashley Home Store, Penske, The Grimes Companies, Cox Media and Kim Larson.

The furnished, “One-Stop-Shop Full-Service Permanent Housing Facility”, with supportive services will feature 16 private apartments on its upper two floors, and a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Community Resource and Referral Center (CRRC) on the ground floor.  The project goal is to provide homeless veterans transitioning from the streets or shelters with incentives and options that will encourage a more stable, sustainable lifestyle and the ability to live independently.  Supportive services will be coordinated through both the VA CRRC and Clara White Mission, and will include case management, substance abuse counseling, mental health counseling, medical services, housing placement, job training and placement, budget and financial counseling, life skills training and educational services.  Currently, the mission has 5 new residents.

“The renaming of the facility will be dedicated to Dr. Eartha M. M. White, founder of the Clara White Mission, and philanthropist Henri Landwirth.  The legacy of these two generations of philanthropist continues to help veterans and low-income residents in need.  In addition, to  honoring and naming the floors after long time philanthropist Delores Barr Weaver and Wells Fargo, will be a part of the program. This unique and important milestone, would not have been possible without the support of the community and longtime partners”, said CEO/President, Ju’Coby Pittman.

Honored guests included: Mayor Lenny Curry, Sheriff Mike Williams, Senator Audrey Gibson, Congressman John Rutherford, Delores Barr Weaver, Henri Landwirth & Family, Mia Jones, Sherry Magill, renown Author Brenda Jackson, Jacksonville City Council representatives, Bishop Rudolph McKissick, and many more.

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